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New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: Forbidden Words
Subtitle: Taboo and the Censoring of Language
Written By: Keith Allan
Kate Burridge

Many words and expressions are viewed as 'taboo', such as those used to
describe sex, our bodies and their functions, and those used to insult
other people. This book provides a fascinating insight into taboo language
and its role in everyday life. It looks at the ways we use language to be
polite or impolite, politically correct or offensive, depending on whether
we are 'sweet-talking', 'straight-talking' or being deliberately rude.
Using a range of colourful examples, it shows how we use language playfully
and figuratively in order to swear, to insult, and also to be politically
correct, and what our motivations are for doing so. It goes on to examine
the differences between institutionalized censorship and the ways
individuals censor their own language. Lively and revealing, Forbidden
Words will fascinate anyone who is interested in how and why we use and
avoid taboos in daily conversation.

Publication Year: 2006
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0521525640
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 314
Prices: U.S. $ 29.99
U.K. £ 17.99

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0521819601
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 314
Prices: U.S. $ 75.00
U.K. £ 45.00